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How do I read British and Scottish books?

Discussion in 'Movies, Music & Television' started by BrokenBoy, Sep 4, 2020.

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  1. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    Ok so I wanna read Trainsspotting by Irvine Welsh and The Color of Magic by Terry Prachett but I can't get a dozen pages in because it's in PAL English.

    Does anyone else know how am I supposed to read this stuff??? Does anyone like, have a guide or whatever?
     
  2. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I recommend reading eBooks as you can highlight a word on screen and it opens up the dictionary definition.

    Trainspotting is hard going as there is a lot of slang and terminology that is native to Scotland. I know plenty of people in England who can't stand the Scottish accent as they find it difficult to understand. I personally have an affinity for weird and wonderful accents of the UK. Probably because I enjoy doing impressions. I find it incredible how small our island is, and yet how full of local accents and dialects such a small place has.

    If you have any specific queries on phrases I'd be happy to help. Whilst constantly looking up dictionaries or Googling sayings isn't exactly a streamline method to understanding a book - it'll be worth it if you find the book truly engaging.

    Also, the first film of Trainspotting is a masterpiece. The 2nd is sort of hanging on the coat tails of the first - with one too many throwback references. Still: both are well worth a watch.

    Ed
     
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  3. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    What on Earth is PAL English???
     
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  4. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I believe it's a gaming reference to games used in Europe.

    North America used NTSC and Europe had PAL.

    Ed
     
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  5. Statest16

    Statest16 Active Member

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    I have never had an issue with English books,never tried Scottish though
     
  6. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I've heard of PAL in relationship to DVDs. But here he's talking about books.
     
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  7. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, same for DVD's and games etc. I think it was just a form of word play on his part. Referring to Queen's English as opposed to American English.

    Then again, what they speak in Scotland certainly isn't Queen's English. Insert uncivilized joke here.

    Ed
     
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  8. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    @BrokenBoy
    Please give one or two examples of material that you find challenging.

    I have read some Terry Prachett books and have no idea what you mean
    by PAL English. It seemed ordinary enough to me.

    The Color of Magic Quotes by Terry Pratchett
    Excerpt from The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld | Penguin Random House Canada
    Are any of these quotes the sort of the thing you mean?
    Please show a couple examples.

    The other author's story uses Scottish slang and dialect.
    I came across a number of articles explaining the words he uses.
    There's even a 95 page PDF of a scholarly dissection of the language
    in Trainspotting.
     
  9. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    "outrighters"

    "breasting"

    "The smoke from the merry burning rose miles high,"

    I would post some examples from Irvine Welsh but those have swearing.
     
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  10. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    "The smoke from the merry burning rose miles high...."
    There was a smokey fire.
    The word merry would be appropriate it is was a bonfire, for fun.
    Or he may be using the word 'merry' in an ironic sense, if the burning
    is due to sinister source.

    "breasting the river Ankh on the ebb tide..."
    struggling through it
    Imagine yourself trying to walk through water that is up to your neck.....

    breasting

    Words are easier to understand if there is context.
    If the sentence with "outrighters" doesn't contain cursing/obscenity,
    could you quote it?
     
  11. Trophonius

    Trophonius Well-Known Member

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    With a dictionary.

    I've had encountered similar problems when reading relatively old books, like Whitman. Sometimes the vocabulary is to complex for me, and if I need to look up the words I cannot always enjoy the book.
     
  12. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    Reading Trainspotting as a Dutch native speaker was challenging at first, but once I got into it I didn’t have a lot of trouble with it. At first I’d say some things out loud, which made some words more apparent to me.
     
  13. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Something I'd like to suggest, with Pratchett's stuff:

    Dont start with Color of Magic. Just dont. It's by far the most arcane of all of them, and when I go back and read it now, it's VERY clear that Pratchett hadnt really figured out what he wanted to do with the series whatsoever... or that it would even BE a series. Just the actions of Death alone in that book are utterly backwards, which says something since he's the most prominent (and most liked) character in the entire series. Even as a diehard fan of Discworld... I dont think Color of Magic is very good.

    A better start: Pick up "Going Postal" instead. That's the one that did it for me. It's going to be a much different and just much BETTER experience than Color of Magic.

    Its also going to be less confusing, from a phrasing standpoint. Again, Color of Magic is arcane at best. I use that word for a reason. Going Postal is NOT arcane (nor are most of the books in the series, really).

    Dont think that you have to read Discworld "in order". It's not really that sort of series. But I'd avoid the oldest ones for now.
     
  14. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    "it burned blue and green and was even laced with strange sparks of the eighth color, octarine; where its outriders found their way"
     
  15. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I dont remember what the context of this line is, but my guess is that it means "something flowing outward". Sort of. Hm, it's hard to describe what I mean. Put it this way: I imagine this as basically translating to "laced with octarine sparks that flared brighter as they neared the edge of the thing". If we're going off of JUST that one sentence. Is there more context to it? What's happening in that scene?

    That being said, this is exactly what I meant when I said the book was kinda arcane.
     
  16. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    It's the opening scene where Ankh-Morpork is in flames.
     
  17. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    I'm not sure about the context but an outrider is generally someone riding or driving out in front or to the side of the main transport, as a guard.
     
  18. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    You can find this out by googling "-word- meaning".
     
  19. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    The problem is having to do that constantly to get through a few pages. It takes me out of the experience.
     
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  20. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    (opening paragraph) "Fire roared through the bifurcated city of Ankh-Morpork. Where it licked the Wizards' Quarter it turned blue and green and was even laced with strange sparks of the eight colour, octarine; where its outriders found their way into vats and oil stores all along Merchants Street it progressed in a series of blazing fountains and explosions."
    So here I guess outriders means sparks of fire jumping from the main fire to another part of the city and spreading the fire.
    Octarine btw is a fantastical, made-up colour which only cats and wizzards can see.
     
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